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Rediff.com  » Sports » Federer eases past friend Melzer into Wimbledon quarters

Federer eases past friend Melzer into Wimbledon quarters

Last updated on: June 29, 2010 02:49 IST

Too easy for Federer

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Six-times champion Roger Federer showed a ruthless streak against one of his best friends on tour when he destroyed Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 for a place in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon on Monday.

Federer, who had never faced Melzer at senior level before, produced his full array of wonderful touches and rock-solid serving on Centre Court in sharp contrast to his stuttering performances in the opening two rounds.

Melzer, who succeeded Federer as the Wimbledon boys' champion in 1999, recovered from 3-0 down in the opener by breaking the Swiss serve, but it was to be his only success as Federer swept through in an hour and 24 minutes when the Austrian sliced a backhand long.

He will play Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych or unseeded German Daniel Brands for a place in the semi-finals.


Image: Roger Federer returns to Jurgen Melzer
Photographs: Reuters
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Djokovic fends off Hewitt

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Third seed Novak Djokovic fended off a typically gritty charge from Lleyton Hewitt to win their fourth-round contest 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at Wimbledon on Monday.

Djokovic claimed a tight opening set with the only break of the first set and seemed to have the measure of the 2002 champion from Australia when he took a two-set lead with barely 80 minutes on the clock.

But he took on-court medication after complaining of feeling sick and Hewitt seized his chance in the third before Djokovic sealed a fist-pumping triumph with a ripping crosscourt forehand before stripping off and hurling his shirt into the crowd.


Image: Novak Djokovic

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Serena grinds past Sharapova

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Defending champion Serena Williams ensured there was no repeat result from the 2004 final when she beat Maria Sharapova 7-6, 6-4 in a tense fourth-round contest at Wimbledon on Monday.

The two went toe-to-toe under the blazing sunshine on Centre Court, and Sharapova, the 16th seed, will rue the chances she missed leading 6-4 in the opening set tiebreak.

A quick break of serve at the start of the second gave the American top seed the momentum, and the three-times champion wrapped up the victory when Sharapova sprayed a running backhand wide after an hour and 36 minutes.

She will play China's ninth seed Li Na for a place in the semi-finals.


Image: Serena Williams celebrates after beating Maria Sharapova

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Venus struggles past stubborn Groth

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Five-times champion Venus Williams had to fight long and hard in blazing sunshine on Monday before taking her place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Australia's Jarmila Groth.

Her father Richard, full of admiration for his daughter's grit and determination, said: "She had to play like a hell-cat to pull that one off."

Venus, clearly drained after a tougher than expected battle against the lowest ranked woman left in the tournament, agreed, telling her father and coach: "That was crazy."

Richard clearly felt a higher power was needed to steer Venus through. Sporting a "Jehovah My God" baseball cap, he kept shouting "Turn it up V" as the ding-dong battle got more and more intense in an intriguing second set.

Venus arrived almost 10 minutes late for her match.

Explaining the delay afterwards, she told reporters: "I didn't know the procediure for Court Two so I was waiting on soemone to get me. No one came. So I eventually just came out."

Once Venus got into gear, one break of serve was enough for the American second seed to take the first set after 35 minutes on a sweltering Court Two.

But her Slovak-born opponent, ranked 92 in the world, refused to be overawed by the woman who was won more grass court titles than any other player on the circuit.

The second set was an engrossing see-saw battle with Groth fighting tooth-and-nail to stay in the fight.

Venus will now play Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova for a place in the semi-finals.


Image: Venus Williams celebrates after beating Jarmila Groth

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No end in sight for Jankovic's Wimbledon woes

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Whenever Jelena Jankovic is playing at Wimbledon, it seems as if the emergency services need to be on standby.

Two years ago she complained she needed a helicopter to transport her to a court that was so far from the locker room that it was like she had been banished to play "in a parking lot".

In 2009 Jankovic wondered whether she would end up in hospital after "women's problems" and the searing heat left her feeling delirious and with blurred vision.

So was 2010 going to be a drama-free year at Wimbledon for the Serb? No chance.

On Monday the Serbian fourth seed was again in need of medical attention as a back injury cut short her All England Club campaign in the fourth round, beaten 6-1 3-0 by Russian Vera Zvonareva.

She had walked on court resembling a wounded warrior with heavy strapping around her right thigh but that proved to be only one of her problems.


Image: Jelena Jankovic recieves medical attention during her match

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Clijsters overcomes Henin

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It took a while but the real Kim Clijsters finally showed up on Court One at Wimbledon to topple fellow Belgian Justine Henin 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round on Monday.

Neither of the Belgians, whose rivalry goes back almost 20 years, have won the grasscourt Grand Slam and after a dreadful start, it looked as though Clijsters would be the player left disappointed for another year.

"I was out there somewhere, but I'm not quite sure where," Clijsters, with a white towel draped around her, told a news conference.

"I was just very overwhelmed in the beginning by the speed of her game. She was definitely overpowering me on every aspect of the match, I think. She was serving extremely well, returning extremely well," she added.


Image: Kim Clijsters serves to Justine Henin

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China's Li powers into quarters

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China's Li Na kept the flag flying for Asia in the women's singles on Monday when she disposed of Polish seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Li, into the quarter-finals for the second time, used her bludgeoning groundstrokes to keep Radwanska pinned to the back wall for much of their match on Court 18.

The ninth seed converted the only break point of the first set to claim the lead in just 30 minutes, and sealed victory when she smashed away an easy overhead after 67 minutes.


Image: Li Na in action against Agnieszka Radwanska

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Wozniacki humbled by Kvitova

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Denmark's third seed Caroline Wozniacki crashed out of Wimbledon at the fourth-round stage on Monday when she was outplayed 6-2, 6-0 by Czech Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova, who lost in the first round on her only two previous campaigns at the All England Club and is now in the quarters, put in a violent display of hitting on Court Two and Wozniacki was left aghast looking for answers.

The world number 62 hit 14 crunching winners en route to the first set in just 24 minutes and it was all over when Wozniacki netted a forehand just 22 minutes later.

Kvitova will play Estonia's Kaia Kanepi for a place in the semi-finals after the world number 80 beat Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-4.


Image: Petra Kvitova celebrates after winning

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Lu stuns Roddick

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Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun sprang the biggest shock of the tournament when he stunned last year's runner-up and fifth seed Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 9-7 in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Roddick, beaten 12 months ago by Roger Federer following an epic final set 16-14, looked poised for a regulation win when he took the opening set against the world number 82 with a single break in 39 minutes.

But Lu kept his focus and won tie-breaks 7-3, 7-4 to put Roddick under pressure and though the American took it to a decider the Taiwanese won through when he fired a forehand winner past the three-times finalist after four hours and 36 minutes.

Lu kissed his fists and raised his arms in triumph after the gripping tussle on Court Two.

"I thought it was a dream, I could not imagine this moment happening," Lu said in an interview just after his dramatic win which saw him become the first Asian man to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since Japan's Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995.

He will play Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the semi-finals.


Image: Lu Yen-hsun reacts after defeating Andy Roddick

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Murray too good for Querrey

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Briton Andy Murray's impressive Wimbledon charge continued with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of dangerous American Sam Querrey on Monday.

The fourth seed soaked up all Querrey could throw at him on Centre Court and counter-punched impressively to reach the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

Even on match point, Querrey was still blasting away with his brutish forehand but Murray resisted and pumped his fists as his opponent eventually blazed a forehand wide.

Murray, who made the semi-finals for the first time here last year before losing to Andy Roddick, will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the last four.


Image: Andy Murray returns to Sam Querrey

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Soderling comes through in five against Ferrer

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Robin Soderling came through his first real test of the Wimbledon fortnight on Monday when he beat Spanish ninth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in the fourth round.

The sixth seed had yet to drop a set and had spent the least time on court of all the men left in the draw, and he seemed in no mood to hang around when he won the first set 6-2 and was 3-1 up in the second.

But Ferrer had other ideas and took the second set with two breaks of serve, causing the tall Swede to snap his racket with his foot in frustration, much to the surprise of the crowd on a packed Court 12.

Soderling seemed back on track for a first appearance in the quarter-finals against nemesis Rafa Nadal or France's Paul-Henri Mathieu, comfortably winning the third set even though he took a medical break at 4-1 up.

This time it was Ferrer who took his frustration out on his racket, smashing it into his bag as the players walked to their chairs at the end of the set.

A packed audience on the small showcourt watched the dramatic tug-of-war unfold as the two players slugged it out from the baseline with only the occasional foray to the net.

A resurgent Ferrer took the match into a decider and forced French Open finalist Soderling to endure a nervous few moments at 5-4 and 15-30 down on his serve.

Two big serves from the Swede made it 40-30 and although his opponent took the game to deuce, Soderling held on.


Image: Robin Soderling reacts after beating David Ferrer

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Perfectionist Tsonga has Murray in his sights

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, head in hands, studied the score details carefully after beating compatriot Julien Benneteau to reach his first Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday

The 25-year-old Frenchman was unhappy with his performance and felt he should have served more aces, despite the 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 scoreline, and faces the prospect of a lively Centre Court encounter with home favourite Andy Murray.

"I'm all the time like this. Even when I win 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 it's the same. If I miss one ball sometimes I'm a bit frustrated," he added.

Tenth seed Tsonga is as demonstrative on court, where he curses himself and screams in irritation, as he is charming and softly spoken off it.

After kissing the line with a forehand winner to claim victory on his second match point, Tsonga skipped and danced round sunny court 12, punching the air and applauding the crowd his face wreathed in smiles.


Image: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returns to Julien Benneteau

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